The Harlem-born Sweat, a stalwart member of an exciting new generation of R&B singers, follows up his popular 1988 debut, Make It Last Forever, with another deft, enjoyable offering.
Keith kicks things off with a choice little aerobic workout titled, “Make You Sweat.” Set to a loopy little organ riff and body-jacking beat, it recalls the soul style of Teddy Riley’s Guy.
Then it’s time to turn the lights down low and settle onto the settee with your sweetie as Sweat drifts into a string of lushly arranged, sweetly sung romantic ballads: “Come Back,” “Merry Go Round,” “Just One of Them Thangs” (a terrific throw-down duet with Gerald Levert) and “I Knew You Were Cheatin.”
This perfect sound track for intimacy is interrupted only by the upbeat “Love to Love You” and the dance tilt-a-whirl of “Your Love,” which Sweat immediately reprises as “Part 2,” à la Barry White, burbling baritone pillow talk over the melody.
Taken individually, the songs arc all on the good-to-excellent continuum. You’d be glad to hear any of them pop up on the radio. They don’t hold together very well as an album because of a lack of variety. But that’s not the knock on Sweat it seems to be. As pop history proves, pursuing the singles strategy is often the smartest course. (Elektra)